US SoccerUS Soccer
U.S. Soccer Development Academy

U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors Play Critical Role at Development Academy Finals Week

Nine Technical Advisors Provide Academy Coaches with Analysis, Education and Evaluation

Nine Technical Advisors Provide Academy Coaches with Analysis, Education and Evaluation

The amount of match preparation work for teams at the 2011-12 Development Academy Finals Week has reached a new level thanks to the work of the nine U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors in Houston.

“Our job is to help [coaches] maximize their experience on the technical side,” U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Chris Brewer said. “The day after their game we go over match analysis film. We cut clips for them. We discuss the games and things of that nature. We also watch the games from a player evaluation standpoint for the Youth National Teams.”

Every day, each Technical Advisor is assigned to one team (oftentimes a team from near the TA’s home region) per game. During the match at night, the Technical Advisors take detailed notes to help assist in the video analysis portion, tracking the time of events and occurrences they wish to discuss the next day.

Utilizing video footage of the Finals Week games shot by HI-POD, the Technical Advisors scour the games looking for numerous in-game situations like possession, defending, transitioning to attack and building out of the back that can be scrutinized and used as an educational tool for the next part of the day in meetings with Academy coaches.

Video analysis allows TAs and Academy coaches the opportunity to slow the game down and dissect team tendencies, deficiencies and also positive points to assist coaches in preparation and game planning in the future, while also addressing a team’s areas for improvement.

After going through the game footage on their own, a time will be set up during the late morning or afternoon to meet with the particular coaching staff that the TA watched the previous night.

Later in the afternoon, it’s time for another meeting of the Technical Advisors before heading out to the Houston Amateur Sports Park for the night’s set of games. They come together to go over their meetings with the Academy coaches and discuss the results, while keeping each other on the same page with what’s going on among the other teams at the tournament.

Watching games, meeting with coaches and going through video analysis and player development during the weeklong event has been the focus for the group and that means lengthy days, typically starting at 8 a.m. every day and running until games are over at 11 p.m.

“There isn’t a lot of down time,” Brewer said. “We try to replicate the schedule like Youth National Team programming, and when we’re at these events it’s only for a short period of time, so we like to maximize and use the time the most efficient way possible.”

Ultimately, this process is the culmination of a year-round effort to ensure that the style and methods of the National Teams are being delivered to the Academy clubs, allowing the clubs to grow while grooming players for potential professional and international careers.

“Our job is to work with our markets, within the clubs in the Development Academy and the Youth National Team program,” Brewer said. “We’re an intersection between coaching development, player evaluation and technical leadership.”